Willa Cather (1873–1947)

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch9

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Willa Cather (1873–1947), in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch9

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • Willa Cather (1873–1947);
  • Cather's stories, drawing her to the attention of S. S. McClure - owner of the prominent magazine McClure's;
  • position at McClure's, taking much of Cather's time and energy - and later writing only a few stories in her years at the magazine;
  • Cather's next novel, OPioneers! - finding her own voice and subject, recalling her Nebraska childhood;
  • affection and nostalgia, that Cather brings to this and her later novels - set in Nebraska, recognition of starkness of pioneer life, and its human tragedies;
  • The Song of the Lark (1915), introducing the other region - featuring a number of times in Cather's fiction;
  • Cather in One of Ours (1922), outside her own experience - describing scenes of World War I;
  • A Lost Lady, about characters - displaced across time;
  • My Mortal Enemy (1926), a mixed response from Cather scholars - seeing it as reflecting a bitterness in Cather's own life;
  • Shadows on the Rock (1931), moving further back in history - to late seventeenth-century Quebec, following round of seasons in lives of the French community


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography